Saturday, August 31, 2013

Right Track - Syria

The naivete of our politicians as well as the hypocrisy seems to know no bounds.  I smile as I watch the Dem talking heads try and explain how Syria is different from the last time we mounted an attack on Arabia.  Back then if you remember, they were full of rhetoric about having to build a "coalition of the willing!" Something both Bush 41 and 43 did rather well.  This time of course our staunchest ally has seen fit to reject the idea of getting involved.  The Dems also insisted on UN approval and a vote in Congress, both of which have been circumvented this time.  So our esteemed President is going to have to go it alone.  And this will mean he will own the entire shambles that will occur - paraded broken bodies of babies and old people to show what the evil Americans have done.  Before he pushes the switch I suggest he reads Uncle Remus's The Tar Baby.  It would be very instructive.  Then perhaps a short speech to the nation explaining that being a devout enthusiast for Islam he has thought hard and long about the entire situation, and has decided that it would be best for everyone to let Allah to sort it out.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Tirade - Filner

The mayor of San Diego has gotten himself into some trouble.  According to about 15 women he has made unpleasant sexual advances to them over the years.  These are mature women, but once again they have been paraded on TV by their ruthless lawyer, each on the verge of tears.  Now not wishing to decry their discomfort, which I would have thought was increased greatly by having to go on show over this, but there is definitely something wrong.  The mayor, who has attracted the added nomenclature of "Filthy" to his name of Filner, is being pressed strongly for his resignation, no doubt by his political opponents.  He also volunteered to go into a program to help him overcome his problem.  There are a a couple of thoughts here.  What type of therapy can overcome his problem in just a week - the length of his so-called treatment?  And what type of women cannot overcome such advances.  How are we teaching our young women these days.  It seems that apart from a couple of suggestions to go on dates - he's married I believe - the advances came down to a couple of kisses and a couple of caresses on the cheek.  When I was growing up and had I attempted such unwelcome behavior, I know it would have been dealt with in a way that would have reduced my stature immediately.  It could have ranged from a stinging, loud remark as to my unattractiveness to a stinging slap on the cheek.  Why are we not passing these types of techniques on to our daughters and younger sisters?  Or are we leaving it all to the law to handle for us?  Come on People!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Music Track - Highway Patrol

I happened to hear this the other day when I was at the  gym.  No, they don't play music like this there, but it came over my headset.  I think it's rather fun don't you?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Humor - English Style

It's said that the Brits have a dry sense of humor, which they of course, spell humour!  This is a new advert for London's Underground, sent to me by my friend Paul over there.  Pretty funny!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Water Break in the Desert
We're always being told by our betters to drink more water.  Mostly like nearly everybody I ignore them.  However I had a most unpleasant experience on our trip with such behavior.  It was about half an hour after a lunch break and I suddenly felt extremely tired.  Not a good thing astride an 800-pound two-wheeled machine.  I had Michael pull over to tell him that I absolutely had to close my eyes for fifteen minutes.  As we discussed an appropriate spot, I drank quite a lot of water before climbing back on the saddle.  Within a minute or two I felt so much better I had to stop Michael again and tell him to nix the plan.  I worked out my consumptiuon that day.  I had had two cups of coffee and maybe a small drink of water first thing,  Wow, if ever I needed to be reminded of dehydration that was it.  Drink plenty of water!!!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Arboretum - Sunday's Column

The Arboretum's Gazebo
The Sun has done some big alterations with its on-line edition.  Sadly my regular page has disappeared and so I'm not too sure at the moment if my regular column will always appear.  Here goes with the piece last Sunday on LA's Arboretum.  Which is a wonderful place to visit.  I hope the link works  If you have the chance to visit this delightful place make the south turn off the 210 and enjoy the peace and quiet so close to the urbanity of  outer LA.

Video - Fly over America

I ran this on the blog some months ago, but frankly it's so good that it's worth looking at again.  My friend Geoffrey sent it on to me this time.  It takes about 5 minutes and is well worth the time to see this great land this way.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Right Track - Boxer

The other day, we had a very bad fire in Riverside County.  It burned 26 structures, killed some people and injured others, including firemen.  Our esteemed senator Barbara Boxer found it necessary to make a soap box speech about how these fires were caused by global warming.  In true liberal democrat style she didn't want to let a good tragedy go to waste to support her political agenda, which is of course, to extract more taxes from us.  It never ends.  She failed to mention however that this August is the first time in 100 years when downtown Los Angeles went 23 days without hitting 80 degrees. 
It's also on the way to being the coolest August in 111 years.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Trevor's Tirade - Terminology

I mentioned the other day that I had been refused help at the local Post Office and the reason for it.  As I explained the new postmistress had removed all the tape from the counter so that they would have not have to pay for it, I guess to be the reason.  It reminded me some years ago when another new occupant to the position arrived and wandered into our local watering hole.  She introduced herself to everyone as the new post master.  She was not unattractive and I looked her up and down and said surely she meant the new postmistress.  She assured me that was wrong.  To which I said that unless she had recently returned from an uncomfortable and expensive procedure in Sweden, she would always be a postmistress to me.  I cannot understand why people have to be so sensitive about the term mistress, with its vaguely sexual connotations, to end up calling women men.  It's a stupid as calling female dogs "little lady dogs" instead of the correct term bitches.  Try getting away with that at the Westminster Dog Show or Crufts!  Come on People!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Music Track - Two Songs Without Words

Five minutes of relaxation and contemplation as the video says here.  Mendelssohn's: "Songs Without Words" are always a wonderful experience.  Here are two of them

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ladies in Pink

On our tour of Yellowstone, we stopped a few times to admire elk or bison, and on one stop, I noticed three ladies riding Harley Davidsons all decked out in pink.  Naturally I went over to speak to them as they were somewhat more interesting than grazing wildlife.  I told them I thought they'd overdone the pink a bit, but they said it was to raise awareness for breast cancer.  They were touring the country and came from all over.  Florida, Oregon and Iowa, I believe.  I mentioned that it wasn't just women who suffered, which they acknowledged.  These were not young women by the way!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Salt Flats

Growing up there were often reports of land speed records being broken at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.  The Brits had some adventurous men who took their cars there like the famous Bluebird and there would be pictures of them afterwards covered in dust and holding trophies.  It seemed to be an almost annual event.  So being in the vicinity of these famous flats, we made the detour just outside Wendover and took some shots.  At the time, mid July, the flats were far from dry, in fact they were covered in water.  All attempts on speed records take place in the winter and early spring, as summer rains cover the salt and that was the condition we saw them in.  Still, another part of the past that's come to life for me.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Video - Plastic into Oil

I'm grateful to my brother-in-law, Tony for this interesting Japanese video about a man who's invented a method to turn trash into oil.  I wonder if plans are afoot to make this more widely used.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Right Track - Vacations?

I see that our leaders have put themselves on vacation for up to five weeks!  Considering the state of affairs with both sides hammering the other while the rest of us wait in anticipation for some solution to our many economic problems, I wonder where else in the world such behavior would be tolerated.  Certainly not in the commercial world, where you are actually expected to do your work and then take a vacation when it's completed!  I would say that they should all be ashamed, except that shame is obviously not something that any of them feels.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Trevor's Tirade - Post Office

Recently we've been subjected to a number of TV ads paid for by the Post Office Workers Union.  Basically the ads say that the reason the Post Office is in financial straights is because of Congress, and how unfair it all is.  I don't know anybody who enjoys going to this particular institution as it's never an uplifting experience.  I had to go with a large letter the other day.  It needed to be weighed and stamped.  Unfortunately the flap was coated with that self sealing substance and on this occasion it refused to stick down.  When I reached the counter I asked the woman if she could just give me a small piece of tape to do the job. She said: "She's (referring to the new post mistress*) taken all our tape away!"  I therefore suggested she use a couple of staples to do it, but she assured me that was not possible as it would stop the letter going through the machine.  I was so staggered I simply left the place.  And they wonder why they are going under and will have to close several branches.  Come On People!

* This terminology will be the subject of another Tirade.  Stay Tuned!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Music Track - Clapton

Eric Clapton is arguably one of the greatest Rock and Roll guitarists of the century.  His Layla however has always rather confused me as it is really two separate songs in the eight minute performance.  I've often wondered why he didn't make two recordings.  This is from a 1999 Madison Square concert.  A true classic.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Can Openers

Most inventions during my life have improved dramatically.  In fact it's hard to think of one that hasn't.  But I have one complaint and that is with the common hand can opener.  While camping, one requires canned goods to provide cooked food, and to open them you have to have an opener. I remember the first of these devices when I was young.  They had a vicious looking half moon blade with a sharp edge and required a lot of force to keep cutting into the top of the can.  Naturally we were warned against them by ever protective mothers and scoutmasters.  Then along came this wonderful invention of a wheel with the small cutting edge safely on the other side of it with one hand turning a butterfly handle and the other left to clasp the grips.  Mothers and scoutmasters began to breathe more easily.  But now some fool has decided to change things and make this wonderful thing less reliable.  We went through two of these before we found one that did the job.  What is the matter with people.  When it works please leave it alone!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Gas Shortages

Traveling north in this great country, we came upon one problem with the changing human landscape.  That of gas shortages.  Years ago, when you moved around in the country, there would be small towns with a couple of gas stations with a mechanic on hand, a country store, a bar or two and a few houses.  Today there is nothing but empty crumbling buildings.  Here, I'm talking about the roads less travelled.  On the Interstates there are the usual commercial places.  But as we went along the 93 highway, which is a road that many countries would be proud to call an interstate, we would go for miles and miles.  One sign even said Next Gas 167 Miles!  We developed a saying for our trip: Fill up early and often!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sunday's Column - Science Center

This week we visit the Los Angeles Science Center where the Endeavour shuttle is finally at rest.  It's big!  I was quite surprised at the size of it and it was a shame we couldn't look inside.  Nonetheless, there's a lot to see at the center and it's well worth a visit,  but go early and leave plenty of time, it's an absorbing place.

Video - A Cup of Coffee

My friend Jim in Pasadena sent me this.  As his note to me said it's good to re-center.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Right Track - Hypocrisy

I note with some distaste that our leaders have once again quite blatantly shown a level of such hypocrisy that it staggered me.  The IRS, who are to enforce Obamacare on all of us have asked to be relieved from participating in this foolish scheme.  How much longer are we to accept a behavior that is so reminiscent of George Orwell's Animal Farm that it is not amusing.  ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL!  BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Trevor's Tirade - Jobsworths

I had to attend a meeting the other day. It was expected that about 100 people would turn up, but it seems that closer to 150 made it.  We had just got underway when a man from the fire department arrived complete with clip board and those nasty dirty yellow overtrousers they wear to prove they work with fires.  I suspect this fellow hadn't seen one of those in years.  Anyway he closed the meeting down saying we were over the capacity limit and we could only have 100 in that area.  Naturally there was a lot of jostling and counting, and about half an hour was lost while we went through these maneuvers.  I know we all have to have rules but surely if the danger was so apparent, he could have stayed along to ensure we didn't set fire to ourselves or perhaps given us a few fire extinguishers in case of a random act of self combustion.  In England we call these types "jobsworths."  It comes from their saying: "I'd like to help you out but it's more than my job's worth."  Come on People!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Music Track - Novello

This week's music track is a piece that seems so very old fashioned.  It's Waltz of My Heart by Ivor Novello.  He was very popular during and immediately after WWII, and died in 1951, I think it was.  I'm sure young people would turn their noses up at this; it's melodic after all!  Will music like this ever be written and performed again?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sunday's Column - Big Bear Lake

The Sun was a little late getting the Sunday Column on line this week, but here it is.

Treasure Island in Big Bear Lake
We've been going through a lot of construction in the village since May, but we're halfway through and there's lots to see and do.  You can read the entire column at


I suppose I 'm fairly lucky in that I only take one prescription pill a day.  If I didn't live at 6,750 feet above sea level, I no doubt could skip it.  But 20 years and about 20 pounds heavier ago, I was aware that things were not quite right and lo and behold the infamous blood pressure had risen.  Now with less weight to tote around and an extended exercise regimen it's not too bad and especially since I take this little pill every evening. I resent even that!
The other day I received a call from the pharmacist - it was totally automatic - to let me know I was running short of the medicine and would I like them to renew it.  I pushed all the right buttons and later on today I can pick them up.  I think that's quite a wonderful service, don't you?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bear Encounter

When we were on our guided tour of Yellowstone, we stopped so that people could admire a grizzly bear moving around about half a mile away up on a hill.  Along with everyone else I watched, but perhaps would not have bothered if I had known that I was to have an encounter a lot closer a few days later.
Full sized grizzly - I didn't take the picture!
We had literally just begun our return trip and were about three miles from the town of West  Glacier, MT.  Michael was about 150 yards ahead of me and we were doing about 55 m.p.h.  I thought I saw a large dog tear out of the pine forest to my right.  We were on an empty three lane highway at about 6:45 a.m.  Next to the pine forest was about 75 feet of grassy verge and the same was repeated on the other side of the highway.  I soon realised this was no dog but a grizzly, and furthermore he was moving very fast.  Let no-one tell you these guys are slow!  I began to swerve away from him and slam on the brakes but we were on a collision course.  Fortunately his reaction was similar to mine and his brakes were better.  He turned a complete 180 and in a cloud of dust tore back to the forest.  We were about 25 feet away from each other when he turned.  A little too close for comfort!  I've put this account into an upcoming piece for The Sun so apologies if you read it elsewhere.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Video - Security Forces

This takes a little while to get going, but it shows how security services might operate.  I'm grateful to my friend Denise in Florida for this.  I think I detect some Jason Bourne scenes in this - quite clever!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Right Track - Zimmerman

During my recent absence, the verdict on the Zimmerman/Martin trial came in.  It was no surprise to me or anyone else paying attention, I'm sure.  The prosecution didn't have much of a case.  Naturally the verdict was bound to cause conniption fits among the various stars of the grievance industry.  But at the end of the day, this little fellow is as confused by their anger as me.  My thanks to Denise for this one.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Tirade - Road Works

I recently had to travel along a road just outside Wendover in Idaho.  It was a good road and there had been some work done on it to improve the surface.  However the entire road was coned off and we were forced to ride on the shoulder for what seemed to be about twenty miles.  Naturally we were reduced to the speed of the slowest truck as there was no way to pass it.  I expected to see some teams of workers or at least some equipment left to start work again, but there was nothing.  Just good new surface and a long long line of cones keeping us all to the side.  I have experienced this before and I believe the delay to opening the full road is to allow some politician or bureacrat to stand on a podium and congratulate him or herself and their team on doing what they were paid to do.  Come on People!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Music Track - Bill Haley

It took close to a year for this piece of music to hit the UK.  Rock Around the Clock was the tune that really started rock and roll there.  I'm sure there were other pieces that might claim that title, but for we teenagers waiting for the Six Five Special to come onto our black and white TV screens back in 1955, it was this that began it all.  Bill Haley today doesn't look like the type to set people's hearts racing, but when he and his Comets eventually came to London, extra police had to be on hand to stop the rioting.  It was a long time ago!